posted by Colm Hanratty | 2 Comments
I know what you're thinking after reading the title to this post - "everybody knows what a hostel is". This isn't always the case! There are lots of people who still don't know what a hostel is. So to them I dedicate this post...
A hostel or youth hostel is essentially a form of accommodation that offers reasonably priced, shared accommodation to travellers in either private or dormitory rooms. The majority of hostels around the world are independently owned and many of these have their own bars and restaurants.
Many hostels are located in remarkable buildings - hostels can be found in such locations as on a boat on the River Danube in Hungary, on a farm in Ireland, in a former prison in Canada or in a listed Victorian building in London.
So what EXACTLY should you expect in a hostel?
- Most hostels offer private rooms and dormitories. Private rooms are usually singles, twins or doubles and some properties also offer triples.
- Dormitories are rooms where you share with other people you may or may not know. You also only pay for the bed, not the room. They vary in size from hostel to hostel, but generally range from 4-bed dorms 20-bed dorms. Most dormitories have bunk-beds though some offer a selection of bunks and regular single or double beds.
- Most hostels offer some en-suite rooms which mean you have your own private bathroom in your room. This will generally consist of a toilet, wash-hand basin and shower. Standard or non en-suite rooms involve sharing communal shower / toilet facilities which are usually located not too far away on the same corridor.
- Many hostels offer free Wifi or a free internet terminal
- Many hostels have a self-catering kitchen where you can cook your own meals and some even have their own restaurants, cafe and bars
- Almost all hostels offer lockers, either free of charge or for hire so that people staying in dormitories can lock up their valuables. These are either provided in the dorms or in a separate area.
- Some hostels have curfews or lock-outs, though this is becoming less common - always check the hostel micro-site on hostelworld.com before you book.
- Almost all hostels provide linen, though some do impose an extra hire charge - again, check the micro-sites for individual details.
So hopefully that will clear up a few things for you. Some of the above points were covered in a video I made last year called "10 Things You Didn't Know About A Hostel". Some weren't so if you want to learn even more about hostels watch the video here.